What happens after being charged with a crime? This page explains the police procedure if you get charged with a crime in the United Kingdom.
YOUR RIGHTS: Find out details about the court hearing and when you can get released on bail. In some cases you can get put into custody (on remand) after the police charge you.
The police will issue a 'charge sheet'. The charge sheet sets out the exact details of the crime you have been charged with.
At that point the police will decide whether:
• You get bail and can go home until the court hearing (you may need to follow certain rules).
• To keep you in police custody until you get taken to court for your hearing.
If you get charged with a crime your first court hearing should be at a magistrates' court. The police use a 'virtual court' using video technology in some cases. This applies even if your trial will take place at a Crown Court at a later date.
Under 18: Your first hearing will usually take place at a youth court.
Under 17: The police must try to arrange for you to get held in local authority accommodation. This will happen wherever possible before you go to court.
Aged 12 to 16: The police can choose to keep you at the police station if they think it will better protect the public.
Once the police have charged the offender they sometimes release them on bail in the UK. That means the offender can leave the police station and go home until the court hearing.
But, the bail process in the United Kingdom means you might have to agree to some bail conditions such as:
If you fail to fulfill the conditions of bail you can get arrested again. If that happens you will get taken to prison while you wait for your court hearing.
When you have attended your hearing you might get given bail again until the start of your trial. This can happen whether your hearing takes place at a magistrates' court or a 'virtual court'.
There are several common reasons why you may not get bail such as if:
The court may decide to put you on remand if you are an adult. That means you will go to prison until you get your hearing at a magistrates' court.
Offenders under 18 years of age will get taken to a secure centre for young people. This is not the same facility as an adult prison.
There are several common reasons why you may get put on remand such as if:
In some cases you might get put on remand again when you attend your hearing at a magistrates' court. Further remand can happen until your trial begins (even if you got bail before).
Being Charged With a Crime; UK Rules Updated 2017